Hi guys! Today, I made a cool discovery. I was walking outside and found this spider’s web, covered in flies. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to collect a sample to examine under my Foldscope
Methods: I took a sample of the web by collecting it on my fingers before transporting it back to my room where I could mount it on a slide. I may have torn the web slightly during this process, however, the fly remained perfectly preserved. I then used a glass slide and one of the provided reusable plastic coverslips to perform a dry mount of the web material. I stretched the web over the top of the slide to adhere it to the surface and remove it from my fingers. Then, I placed the coverslip on top and taped it down.
Here are some pictures of the web:
Here is the head of the fly:
I thought this was the antenna, but, after looking it up, believe that this is called the arista:
Here is a quick video tour of the fly:
I looked up the anatomy of a fly, and I was impressed to find that I could identify many of the major parts outlined. The below image is courtesy of wikimedia commons. I doubt that it’s the same species, but it does share many similarities. One thing that struck me in particular was the small hairs all over the body of the fly. You can see them particularly well in the picture of the legs.